Local MP Luke Hall met with the National Deaf Children's Society in Parliament this week, to discuss and find out more about the benefits that radio aids can mean for deaf children in early years.
Radio aids help deaf children hear speech by transmitting what people are saying directly to the child's hearing aid or cochlear implant, above any background noise. They are commonly used in schools to help children understand their teacher. With Government data showing that around half of deaf children (48%) fail to reach the expected level in communication and language in the early years, research by the NDCS has shown that they can make a big difference to deaf children's communication and language development in the early years.
Unfortunately, these radio aids are believed to not be currently fully funded and available in South Gloucestershire to pre-school deaf children. After discussing the issue at length with the charity, Luke has raised the issue with South Gloucestershire Council’s Children Adult and Health department to see what more can be done to ensure that every child who could benefit from one is given the opportunity access to a radio aid which could lead to a boost in their communication skills later in life, in education and the workplace.
The MP and new father Luke said; "Meeting with deaf children and their families today has really given me a greater understanding about the potential positive benefits that Radio Aids can have for early year’s children. I believe that it is important that this issue is raised with the Council to see what more can be done, and if possible to also look into funding these aids so that deaf children in South Gloucestershire can receive the help they need for their development."